Re: ~e; on learning basic electronics

From louis schultz <>
Date Fri, 16 May 2003 02:44:33 -0400
In-reply-to <>


As I already stated, my email was motivated by the fact that despite  
trying several times to figure out what you were writing about and why,  
I could not make any sense out of what you wrote. You are certainly  
dedicated and very enthusiastic about your mission and I appreciate  
your efforts. What I was trying to suggest is that if the forum that  
you established is to reach it's full potential, then clear  
communication is important. A little re-reading and editing for the  
sake of clarity might help make your outpouring of enthusiasm less  
opaque to your readers.

You sort of jump all over the place in your writing, so if you will  
allow, I will respond in a similar fashion. I only have a little time  
now, but I will give you a few things to research.

First of all, your work with the alphabet will require more knowledge  
of it's origins and evolution than you currently seem to have. We don't  
use an English alphabet, we use a Roman alphabet. One of the legacies  
of the Roman empire is that it's alphabet spread in usage to cover much  
of the world. The Arabic alphabet also spread along with the Islamic  
religion and may be used to write several languages including Arabic,  
Turkish, Persian, etc. We use Arabic numerals, since the Roman method  
was so cumbersome. Thank god (Allah?) for that handy zero they gave us.  
The Roman alphabet has it's origins in Sumerian, Phoenician, Hebrew,  
Greek, and who knows what other earlier precedents. Of course as  
writing evolved through the millennia it evolved so that letters have  
things in common. Letters need to be clearly different from one  
another, but since they are traditionally written with one tool,  
efficient writing and beautiful design require that they have much in  
common. The Roman alphabet (not script obviously) was developed to  
write carved inscriptions on buildings and monuments. It had to be  
similar to script which was written with a broad tipped pen, but it was  
very carefully drawn with an emphasis on precise geometry. The letters  
that Jasper Johns uses are modern, but clearly, they are derived from  
that sort of precedent. Histories of typography and writing are not  
hard to find. I can recommend some if needed. 

You mention wanting to make a 3d array of leds. You also throw a 4th  
dimension in there for some reason that I can't follow. Before jumping  
to extra dimensions, lets take a look at two. You compare the Union  
Jack with the led. I don't quite see why. The Union Jack could be seen  
as  a 3 by 3 matrix of points connected by lines. The led is a similar  
matrix, but it is not connected in the same way. One has rotational  
symmetry and the other does not. When you add one or more additional  
dimensions, that lack of rotational symmetry starts to make issues more  
complicated.  I suppose that the led is the link to the Jasper Johns  
work.  I think the fact that we can make out a letter on a led speaks  
more to the clarity of their basic forms and to our training than to  
some root formal structure. No one writes  the number 8 the way it  
looks on a led, but we can learn to recognize it on a led. So, I find  
it hard to see the connections among these three things. It seems to me  
that the multidimensional bs that I referred to was thrown in there to  
cover for the fact that some of these basic connections weren't really  
explored in simpler ways. There are numerous books and websites devoted  
to basic symmetry.

Classical architecture undocumented? Hardly! Vitruvius, Palladio,  
countless others. Try Rob Krier's "Architectural Composition" 

All right I need to go to bed, so I will just throw out some more stuff  
to look for.

I think you would really like this, but it is hard to find anywhere on  
the internet. Look for used book dealers.
The Genesis of Form     Mark Verstockt   isbn 0-584-11109-6

The Geometry of Art and Life     Matila Ghyka  Dover Books cheap and  
readily available
Mind Tools    Rudy Rucker    deals with some math issues that you might  
find to be useful/interesting
The Power of Limits   Gyorgi Doczi  I think I spelled his name right     
classic look at numerical order in the universe
anything by Keith Critchlow

Please don't misunderstand my intentions, I don't mean to be  
discouraging. In fact I look forward to seeing what you send. The only  
way we can help one another find answers to questions and guidance on  
our individual journeys is if we can decipher communication from one  
another. I couldn't tell you the first thing about electronics, but I  
do hope that I can help in other areas. Thats the beauty of a network,  
we all know a little but collectively we know a lot.


On Thursday, May 15, 2003, at 12:52  PM, human being wrote:

>  Hi Louis, your criticism while biting is understandable yet I would  
> contend
>  it is not bullshit, or trying to sound scientific, but is a  
> thought-experiment that
>  can be modeled that reflects suspended decision making as seen when  
> there
>  is ambiguity in a system of representation and decisions still need  
> to be made.
>  That it still cannot be discussed in this way, without an example,  
> was one of the
>  reasons for trying to write about it, as trying to learn more about  
> electronics has
>  brought with it the possibility of making a physical model of the  
> same idea by
>  using LED displays and automated (microcontrollers or sequential)  
> integrated
>  circuits to create this model. it is not 'randomness' nor  
> false-complexity and is
>  a very simple idea yet hard to write about in words, as is being  
> demonstrated.
>  Maybe the words are not right, or the idea not clear, but it is more  
> than a basic
>  electronics knowledge that is being referenced, it includes a large  
> swath of
>  cultural knowledge, including the earliest organized systems of  
> thought (Plato),
>  significant artwork of the 20th century (Johns' investigation of  
> symbols, language)
>  and today's largely opaque ('blackbox') electronics knowledge  
> industry where it
>  may be cut-and-dried in terms of science and technology but is  
> largely esoteric
>  to the layperson, or to its wider cultural context (relating Johns'  
> artwork 0-9 to the
>  7-segment LED display is completely within the available reasoning of  
> the text).
> 0 through 9, Jasper Johns, 1970, embossed lead, Walker Art Center*
> enlarge_fs.html?type=object&id=902&image_num=1
>  compared to:
> 7-segment display
>  If you'd like to explain where all the bullshit lies, I'd appreciate  
> that. What can be
>  easily conceded is the naive exploration of electronics, but the text  
> was about
>  how one person is going about learning about electronics that is not  
> the route
>  of EE or vocational technical instruction, and there is little left  
> but books then,
>  and sharing ideas like these.
>  Ignoring everything else, here's the other juxtapositions:
> images?q=jasper+johns+red+blue+yellow&btnG=Google+Search&hl=en&lr=&ie=I 
> SO-8859-1
> 12. Primary Education of the Guardians: Plato's Republic 12 (400c-403c)
>  The Aim of Education in Poetry and Music
>  Union Jack flag
> * **
> 	in comparison to (later) electronics technology:
>  (*examples for classical architecture are undocumented so are
>  hard to search for visual examples, although there are people
>  who search for visual alphabets in architectural environments,
>  and books exist on this subject, though not this symbol itself. If
>  one looks at balconies or detailing of wood or stonework on a
>  larger building, railings, this symbol can be seen in buildings.]
> ALL of this to attempt to say:
> 	With the alphanumeric LED in an array of, say, 4 units, the
> 	symbol could be flipped and even driven by a processor to
>  	flip and rotate on these displays, to demonstrate the 3D and
>  	4D aspects of the alphabet that have been referenced else-
>  	where, to demonstrate what has been previously posed and
>  	"built" thousands and decades and years simultaneous to
> 	this one little (potentially already outdated) technology that
> 	could model the questions (as logic, for reasoning) that the
> 	models of today (in language) cannot yet achieve. That's it
> 	a nutshell, but I wrote this not to say 'believe me' but to show
> 	an example but obviously it is not close enough just yet.
> In any case, thanks for the critique. If there is misinformation about
> the basics of integrated circuits or microcontrollers or how LED
> displays work, please correct the probable mistakes. If this does
> not help clarify, I'd be glad to debate the basic nature of this idea
> in much greater detail off-list and well beyond the limited scope
> of electronics, or create a micro-list for those who are interested.
> Otherwise, please let me know where the fault in reasoning lies.
> Brian
> ---
> [articles about origins and some how-to just located:
> Liquid-crystal display: too impractical
> ]
> Display Technology of TI Calculators
> Emitting-Diode)
> On Thursday, May 15, 2003, at 01:25  AM, louis schultz wrote:
>> Hi, I usually look forward to your updates regarding your internet  
>> finds. I've been turned on to some very interesting stuff so far.  
>> This time, I have to say that after trying a few times, I still  
>> cannot figure out what you are trying to write  about. Some relevant  
>> links might be very helpful. What it looks like is that someone has  
>> taken a very simple idea and thrown some multi-dimensional bs on top  
>> of it to make it sound more "scientific". I'm sorry if I seem to too  
>> harsh of a critic, but this just doesn't make sense as written. If  
>> the idea is worth discussing, then it is worth discussing coherently.
>> Louis Schultz
>  the electromagnetic internetwork-list
>  electromagnetism / infrastructure / civilization

  the electromagnetic internetwork-list
  electromagnetism / infrastructure / civilization